First year results from a Food Standards Agency (FSA) survey of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in raw beef, pork and chicken at retail level have been welcomed by the pig industry as demonstrating just how safe pork is,
The FSA analysed 312 beef and 312 pork retail samples for the presence of bacterial enzymes that are resistant to several different antibiotic categories, finding positive readings in just two beef and six pork samples, with none of the isolates being resistant to “last resort” carbapenem antibiotics.
“These results demonstrate just how safe pork is and reinforces all the hard work and progress currently going on in the pig industry to reduce, refine and replace antibiotic use,” said the National Pig Association’s leader on AMR, Georgina Crayford.
“It is also worth reiterating the FSA’s advice that the risk to consumers from AMR in all meat products is especially low if they are handled and cooked properly.”
The survey results were published alongside the FSA’s latest “Science Report” from the Agency’s chief scientific adviser, Professor Guy Poppy. A 19-page document, the report examines the science behind AMR and presents the latest findings around the role that food plays in the problem.
“The FSA works to protect consumer interests in relation to food, so the role that food plays in the problem of antimicrobial resistance is of concern,” said Professor Poppy, adding that while the problem cannot be eliminated, its development can be slowed.
“We need a holistic approach throughout the food supply chain, and to understand how a whole range of practices, such as how we care for farm animals, handle food or irrigate crops, might affect the spread of antimicrobial resistance to our food, and ultimately to us.”